Cures for outdoor woes

Apr 25, 2008 at 5:57 a.m. ET

Sunscreen? Check. Water? Check. Swimsuit? Check. Do you have everything you need for the warm weather?

Sad Toddler Boy at the Beach
When the weather turns warm, it's only natural that you want to head outdoors. But outdoors there are many, many things that can ail you, such as poison plants, wood issues and the ill effects of the sun. No one wants their children to be hurt or to have have play disrupted, but when it happens be prepared. Use these tips to help solve some common problems.
Remember though: when in doubt, contact your doctor immediately.

Bee sting

What it is: bees sting people when they feel threatened
The cure: If a person is allergic to bee stings, have an epi-pen at the ready and use it immediately (if you don't, call 911). Symptoms of an allergic reaction include nausea and vomiting.
For those who aren't allergic, it's important to ensure that the stinger isn't in the skin. If it is, scrape a blunt object across the skin to remove it. A paste of meat tenderizer and water can be applied to the skin and is known to break down the bee venom. Cortisone cream can also help.

Poison Ivy

What it is: an allergic reaction caused by contact with a poison ivy leaf
The cure: Although rashes will disappear in about two weeks, applying a cortisone cream will speed things up some, but it must be applied immediately. Clean the skin first. If the rash becomes severe, contact a doctor.


What it is: a sliver of wood caught beneath the skin
The cure: Removing a splinter can be tricky. Often times, the jagged splinter will be stubborn about coming out. To ease the process, use a cotton ball to apply a little vegetable oil to the wound. Allow it to sit overnight and then ease the wood out of the skin. The oil softens and breaks down the wood so that it removes easily.


What it is: too much exposure to the sun
The cure: Taking cool baths can help some, but be sure not to use any scented products and don't scrub the skin. Apply liberal amounts of aloe gel (found in drugstores) to the area multiple times a day. If the sunburn is severe, contact a doctor.


What it is: a small, parasitic bug
The cure: The key to tick bites is to catch them right away. First, use tweezers to remove the ticks from the skin. You want to grasp at the head to be sure that is lifted up and away. If the tick implanted more than 24 hours earlier, save it in a plastic bag and see a doctor. If caught within 72 hours, oral drugs can prevent the development of Lyme disease.

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